A HAPLESS Dunfermline bank robber who put a pillowcase over his head to hide his identity, but had to take it off again as he hadn't cut any eye holes, has been jailed for four and a half years.

Matthew Davies, 47, who also stopped to pat a dog on his escape, carried out the armed raid at the Bank of Scotland branch on Bothwell Street but found his makeshift mask hindered his sight.

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, his counsel Lorraine Glancy said: "When he was in the bank, in order to be able to see the person he was trying to rob, he required to expose his face not only to that person, but to CCTV cameras operational in the bank."

She added: "The robbery charge is one that is completely outwith his normal character and one that, when looked at objectively, was unlikely ever to go successfully."

Davies had pulled a meat cleaver from the pillowcase and then put the bedding item on to cover his face.

But he then had to quickly remove it.

Prosecutor Stewart Ronnie earlier told the court: "This was due to a failure to create eye holes."

Davies did manage to rob an employee at the bank of £1,980 after brandishing the weapon and demanding cash.

He told a teller on September 23 last year: "Give me the money. I am f****** warning you." He was initially given about £300 but demanded more money.

He motioned towards a female customer and warned: "I don't want to f****** hurt her."

Davies repeatedly struck a glass partition with the cleaver.

A man going into the bank decided to follow Davies as he made his escape and tailed him to the street where he stayed.

The witness described him as walking slowly away from the robbery and at one point stopping to pat a dog.

Police found cash and a pillowcase like that used in the raid along with a stun gun at an address in Reid Street, in Dunfermline.

At Glasgow High Court last month, Davies, a prisoner in Glenochil jail, admitted the assault and robbery and a charge under the firearms act.

At his sentencing today, Miss Glancy said that for much of his life Davies was "a pro social member of society".

But his marriage foundered and he ran into financial problems.

A successful tree surgeon business, in which he was a director, also hit difficulties.

Miss Glancy said his mental health deteriorated and he began to use crack cocaine.

The defence counsel said that Davies committed the robbery "not particularly to gain any financial advantage but in an effort to bring to an end his continuing drug use".

She said: "He saw prison as an alternative to the situation he found himself in.

"It was an ill conceived plan by him and a poorly executed one, standing the circumstances of the robbery."

The defence counsel said that since being in custody following his arrest he has been drug free.

The judge, Lord Turnbull, told Davies that he would have faced a six year prison sentence for the robbery, but for his guilty plea.